Jonathan Edwards and Doing Good

26 Mar

Jonathan Edwards helped us move to Africa. 

It sounds funny to say that, given that he lived and died so many years ago now. But, I was doing a lot of thinking at the time about Christians and the financially poor, and I came upon the Jonathan Edwards Center’s website where they had many of his sermons available to study.  

So I studied and read and was challenged to see how much he had to say about it. More importantly, how much the Bible had to say about it. 

Unfortunately, I am not the best at filing. O.k., maybe the worst. I wouldn’t be surprised if I had many of those sermons printed out somewhere now. Somewhere being the key word. 

Recently however I began looking again for some of the sermons I remembered best from several years ago and I thought I might at least share the links here for your benefit. 

To Be Much in Deeds of Charity is the Way to Spiritual Discoveries:  

“If we would seek sp. discoveries in a Right way we must not only abound in the duties of the first Table we must not only spend a Great deal of time in the duty of Prayer Crying Earnestly to G. for the discoveries we need & desire but we must also abound in 2d Table duties & particularly in works of Love in deeds of Charity or works of love. This is the way to be successful.”

Duty of Charity to the Poor:

“Tis the most absolute and indispensable duty of a people of God to give bountifully and willingly for the supply of the wants of the needy.”

Mercy and Not Sacrifice:

“Moral duties towards men are a more important and essential part of religion than external acts of worship of God.”

Longsuffering and Kindness:  (With this particular message, you have to scroll down a bit, to get to the part on kindness in particular.)

“I come now secondly to show that a Christian spirit disposes persons freely to do good to others. In speaking to this point I would, first, briefly open the nature of the duty of doing good to others; second, show how that a Christian spirit will dispose persons to this”.

Degrees of Glory: 

 “{Future degrees of glory will be} in proportion to the good that they do. The good that persons do is twofold, either in directly glorifying God’s name, or doing good to their fellow creatures. They that glorify God here, God will reward them by crowning them with glory hereafter. 1 Samuel 2:30, “They that honor me I will honor.” And they that do good to others shall be rewarded, whether to their souls or bodies. They that do lay out themselves, and are the means of good to others’ souls, shall have indeed the greatest reward. And therefore ’tis said that they that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars. But they that do good to others’ outward man shall not lose their reward, especially in ways of charity to the poor. He that gives to the poor lends to the Lord; and that which he gives him, he shall pay him again (Proverbs 19:17). Christ tells us that which is done to one of the least of his brethren, he looks upon as done to him (Matthew 25:40). And his promise that not one cup of cold water given to these little ones, [shall in no wise] lose its reward (Matthew 10:42).”

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